A Royal Affair
A Gala Presentation at the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival®, A Royal Affair displays all the talents and charms of its star, Mads Mikkelsen (The Hunt, After the Wedding), while director and co-writer Nikolaj Arcel brings a sharp, contemporary edge to this notorious true story of illicit love and poltical
In the late eighteenth century, Denmark is ruled by the spoiled King Christian VII (Mikkel Boe Følsgaard), for whom governing takes a decided backseat to playing with his dog and indulging in all the pleasures of the flesh — which makes him susceptible to the designs of cunning courtiers. Enter Johann Struensee (Mikkelsen), a ruggedly handsome German doctor and staunch proponent of the Enlightenment’s reformist principles, who is so well liked by the king when they meet abroad that he is asked to return with the monarch to Copenhagen as his personal physician. There, Struensee discovers his political match in the king’s physically and intellectually captivating queen, Caroline Mathilde (Alicia Vikander, Anna Karenina), who happens to be somewhat starved for
Eager to use his influence to advance the cause of social reform, Struensee partners with the queen to convince the king to embark on an aggressive campaign of reforms, all of which stand in direct opposition to the conservative principles espoused by the king’s governing council. The two kindred spirits soon find themselves so engrossed in their explosive passion for each other that they
fail to notice the conspiracies taking shape around them. What unfolds is a tale of high-flown idealism undone by the blind passion of love.
Mikkelsen and Vikander are electrifying as the ill-starred lovers, and their palpable chemistry, combined with Arcel’s assured direction and the film’s fine art direction and costume design, create both a sweepingly romantic and subtly nuanced portrait of this infamous episode in Denmark’s history. At once intimate and epic, A Royal Affair is one of the finest, most well-crafted period dramas in recent memory.
"From Denmark comes this sensational period drama recounting the illicit romance between that country’s former queen, Caroline Mathilde, and the royal physician. It is a clear-eyed, morally nuanced and beautifully mounted picture: terrifically Danish on all counts." —Robbie Collin, The Telegraph
"A Royal Affair is historical drama of the highest order - teeming with big ideas, and anchored by the nicely nuanced performances of Vikander and Mikkelsen." - Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
Director: Nikolaj Arcel
Cast:: Alicia Vikander, Mads Mikkelsen and Mikkel Boe Følsgaard
Country: Denmark, Sweden, Czech Republic, Germany
Distributor: Mongrel Media
Ratings: ON NR / BC NR / AB NR / SK NR / MB NR / QC NR / Maritmes NR
* Represents an approximate date. Please consult local listings.